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Whilst 'parenting' is a thoroughly cultured product, it is often treated as a transparent set of skills. Exploring points of accommodation and tension between parenting as defined by professionals, and as experienced by parents themselves, this book investigates the relationship between being a parent and the expertise around parenting. Using a multi-disciplinary, cross-cultural approach, Parenting and the Social Sciencesexamines the sociocultural significance of 'parenting' both as a subject of professional expertise, and as an activity that adults are increasingly expected to find emotionally absorbing and personally fulfilling. It positions parenting as a global ideology that intersects in a variety of ways with the political, social, cultural, and economic positions of parents and families. Based on research from across Europe and the Americas, and drawing on a range of disciplinary perspectives, this book develops social science perspectives on parenting and complements existing work on kinship, reproduction and child-rearing.